HISTORIC BUSINESS IN LOMBARD
Brust Funeral Home located at 135 S. Main Street, opened in Lombard in 1952. Jack Brust followed the steps of his father Fred, who had worked in a funeral home in Maywood in 1915, started his own funeral home in a historic 1850’s farmhouse he remodeled in downtown Lombard.
According to John Brandon Brust, president and CEO of Brust Funeral Home Ltd., his Dad had actually started the Lombard home against his father’s advice. Even though our family had lived in the Lilac Town for generations, his grandfather felt that this was too far out in the country for a second funeral home to survive.
However, two years later his grandfather left the funeral home in Maywood where he had worked and Grandfather and Grandmother Eileen, joined in with his parents, Jack and Anita, to run the Lombard home,” added John Brust. Anita’s family had roots in York Center since the 1840’s. Her mother’s family name was Deicke. The same German name used for the Lombard Deicke Home for the Retarded.
Jack Brust immediately threw himself into building up the town where his ancestors had homesteaded. He founded the Lombard Chamber of Commerce and in the 1950’s he resurrected the Lilac Parade. In addition, he served as president of the Lombard Friends of the Library and was a member of the Board of Governors of Elmhurst Hospital. Jack Brust was a founder of the DuPage Funeral Directors Association and was a member and past president of the Lombard Rotary Club. Moreover, he was a member of the Lombard Lions Club and received an award from the FAA for his work on a large commercial airliner crash in Westmont in 1960. Jack Brust was also Grand Marshall of the Lilac Parade twice.
In addition, Jack continued to build his business. The core of that original farmhouse is still contained within the walls of the Brust Funeral Home. In 1958 Jack added on to the old house and 10 years later he gave the building its current brick façade.
John Brandon Brust joined his father in the business during 1978 and in 1990 he purchased Jack’s interest in the Lombard funeral home. Another son, Jim, had founded his own funeral home with Jack in Carol Stream during 1985.
In 1995 John purchased an existing funeral home in Villa Park that he still operates. Then, in 2011, he remodeled the Lombard home, updating the 10,000-square-foot facility that now employs seven full-time and 12 part-time people.